Last updated
Type Subsidiary
  • Hollandsche Decca Distributie
    (as subsidiary of Decca)
  • Philips Phonografische Industrie
    (as subsidiary of Philips)
Founded1962;61 years ago (1962) (original; as Grammophon-Philips Group), a joint venture of Philips and Siemens
2017;6 years ago (2017) (Relaunch as PolyGram Entertainment)
Founder Polydor and Deutsche Grammophon
Defunct1999;24 years ago (1999) (original)
FateSold to Seagram and folded into Universal Music Group until 2017. Label still used by UMG's PolyGram Entertainment and for some of its label divisions in certain regions.
The 1996–1999 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment catalog is currently owned by Universal Pictures (part of Comcast).
The pre-1996 PolyGram Filmed Entertainment catalog is currently owned by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (part of Amazon).
Parent Philips (50%)
Siemens (50%)

PolyGram N.V. was a multinational entertainment company and major music record label formerly based in the Netherlands. It was founded in 1962 as the Grammophon-Philips Group by Dutch corporation Philips and German corporation Siemens, to be a holding for their record companies, and was renamed "PolyGram" in 1972. The name was chosen to reflect the Siemens interest Polydor Records and the Philips interest Phonogram Records.[ citation needed ] The company traced its origins through Deutsche Grammophon back to the inventor of the flat disc gramophone, Emil Berliner.


Later on, PolyGram expanded into the largest global entertainment company, creating film and television divisions. In May 1998, it was sold to the alcoholic distiller Seagram which owned film, television and music company Universal Studios. PolyGram was thereby folded into Universal Music Group, and PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was folded into Universal Pictures, which had been both Seagram successors of MCA Inc. When the newly formed entertainment division of Seagram faced financial difficulties, it was sold to Vivendi, and MCA became known as Universal Studios, as Seagram ceased to exist. Vivendi remains the majority owner of the Universal Music Group (while the film and television division was sold to NBCUniversal) until 2021. In February 2017, UMG revived the company under the name of PolyGram Entertainment, which currently serves as their film and television division.


Hollandsche Decca Distributie (HDD), 1929–1950

In 1929, Decca Records (London) licensed record shop owner H.W. Van Zoelen as a distributor in the Netherlands. By 1931, his company Hollandsche Decca Distributie (HDD) had become exclusive Decca distributor for all of the Netherlands and its colonies. [1] Over the course of the 1930s, HDD put together its own facilities for A&R, recording, and manufacturing.

HDD was commercially successful during World War II because of the absence of American and British competition. Van Zoelen wanted to sell to Philips so that HDD would have sufficient financial backing when their major competitors returned after the war. This led Philips to purchase HDD in 1942. [1]

In the mid 20th century, the majority of large recording companies manufactured both gramophones and records; Philips CEO Anton Philips noted the risk in creating gramophones without an interest in music recording and record manufacture, and that Radio Corporation of America (RCA) had merged with the Victor Talking Machine Company in 1929 [2] for this reason. Philips' labs were developing magnetic tape and LPs, and they could support eventual new formats, although other record companies were notably unenthusiastic about experimenting with new formats.

After the war, Philips built a large factory in Doetinchem to produce 78 rpm records. Recording took place in Hilversum, whereas development took place in Eindhoven.[ citation needed ]

Philips Phonografische Industrie (PPI), 1950–1962

In the 1940s, the record business was spread out within Philips: research in the Eindhoven labs, development elsewhere in Eindhoven, recording in Hilversum, manufacturing in Doetinchem, distribution from Amsterdam, and exports from Eindhoven. During the late 1940s, Philips combined its various music businesses into Philips Phonografische Industrie (PPI), a wholly owned subsidiary.

PPI's early growth was based on alliances. A merger was first proposed with Decca of London in late 1945, but was rejected by Edward Lewis, Decca's owner. (PolyGram finally acquired Decca in 1980.)

In the early 1950s, Philips set itself the goal of making PPI the largest record company in Europe.

PPI's second attempt at a merger was with Deutsche Grammophon Gesellschaft (DGG). DGG, owned by Siemens AG, and well known for its classical repertoire, had been the German licensee for Decca from 1935. DGG also owned Polydor Records. Shortly after PPI was founded it had made a formal alliance with DGG to manufacture each other's records, coordinate releases, and refrain from poaching each other's artists or bidding against each other for new talent. PPI and DGG finally merged in 1962.

The alliance with DGG still left PPI without repertoire in Britain or the United States. But in 1951, after Columbia had failed to renew its international distribution agreement with EMI, PPI agreed to distribute Columbia recordings outside the United States. Columbia became PPI's distributor within the US. This agreement ran until 1961 when Columbia set up its own European network. PPI signed a worldwide distribution deal with Mercury Records in 1961. PPI's parent company Philips, through its U.S. affiliate Consolidated Electronics Industries Corp (a.k.a. Conelco), acquired Mercury in 1962.

PPI built or bought factories in smaller countries. In 1962, PPI had a large factory in Baarn and factories in France, Britain, Denmark, Norway, Spain, Italy, Egypt, Nigeria, and Brazil.

PPI played an important role in the introduction of the long-playing vinyl record to Europe. Columbia introduced their LP record in 1948, and Philips presented its first LP at a record retailers' convention in 1949. Philips' commitment to LP technology was an important factor in its 1951–1961 deal with Columbia. [3]

GPG and PolyGram, 1962–1980

In 1962, PPI and DGG formed the Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG) as a joint-venture holding company, with Philips taking a 50% share in DGG and Siemens a 50% share in PPI. In 1971, the UK record labels of Philips, Fontana, Mercury, and Vertigo were amalgamated into a new company called Phonogram, Ltd. In 1972, Grammophon-Philips Group reorganized all its operations and was renamed The PolyGram Group (in some countries, like Argentina, its name was Phonogram), of which Philips and Siemens each owned 50%. In 1977, both organizations merged operationally, integrating the recording, manufacturing, distribution and marketing into a single organization.

The various record labels within PolyGram continued to operate separately. PolyGram gave its labels, as A&R organizations, great autonomy.

After the merger, PolyGram began to move into the US and UK markets, and did so by a process of both formation and acquisition: Polydor Records established its American operations, Polydor Incorporated in 1969, Mercury Record Productions (US) was acquired in 1972 from sister company North American Philips Corp., and became Phonogram, Inc. MGM Records and Verve (US) were acquired in 1972. Subsequent PolyGram acquisitions included those of RSO (UK) in 1975, a 50% stake in Casablanca (US) in 1977 (with the remaining 50% in 1980), Pickwick in 1978, and Decca (UK) in 1980 (the latter acquisition basically brought PolyGram full circle, see the HDD section above). PolyGram acquired United Distribution Corporation (UDC) in 1973, and changed its name to Phonodisc, Inc., and signed international distribution deals with MCA and 20th Century Records in 1976.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s, Philips had been at work on a new consumer magnetic tape format for music. The Philips Compact Cassette was introduced in 1963. It was small and could play longer than an LP. In 1965 the cassette accounted for 3% of revenues, growing in 1968 to 8% and in 1970 to 10.6%.

In the late 1960s, and through the 1970s, GPG/PolyGram diversified into film and television production and home video. RSO's successes included Saturday Night Fever and Grease . PolyGram's highly successful marketing during the disco craze included the Casablanca FilmWorks production Thank God It's Friday (1978) and its associated soundtrack. During the boom in disco, PolyGram's US market share had grown from 5% to 20%. This can also be attributed to multi-million selling albums and 45s by the Bee Gees, Donna Summer, the Village People, Andy Gibb, Kool & the Gang, and rock band Kiss. For a short while in the late 1970s, it was the world's largest record company. [4]

In 1969, PolyGram established a direct mail-order business in the UK, Britannia Music Club, which ran till 2007. [5]

Reorganization, 1980–1999

Before 1978, PolyGram was losing money. When US operations were running at full capacity, PolyGram expanded aggressively, and would press large quantities of records without knowing the demand. In late 1979, PolyGram was caught off guard by the sudden end of the popularity of disco music, leaving it with an underutilized distribution network, profligate labels, and over optimistic product orders. PolyGram's Casablanca label was known for management spending on lavish industry parties and luxury cars. After 1980, PolyGram's losses had spiraled upwards of US$220 million.

Another contributing factor to PolyGram's financial woes was the massive failure of the big budget musical Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band (1978). The film starred the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton at the height of their popularity, and featured The Beatles covers by them as well as Aerosmith, Billy Preston, and Earth, Wind & Fire. The film was highly anticipated to surpass the box office success of both the Saturday Night Fever and Grease , mostly due to its popular music stars. The soundtrack LP, based on only advance orders, was released triple platinum.[ citation needed ] However, the movie was released to poor reviews and died at the box office. Despite its triple platinum start, the soundtrack LP's sales bombed after the film's release. In turn, record dealers flooded PolyGram with returned LPs. The resulting losses nearly wiped out the profits the company had made on both the Saturday Night Fever and Grease soundtracks. The company took further loses when the disco craze ended in 1979 and record sales for both the Bee Gees and Casablanca's Village People plummeted. PolyGram also experienced losses with the defection of Casablanca's Donna Summer to newly formed Geffen Records as well as the dropping of Andy Gibb, whose personal problems with cocaine and alcohol began to affect his recording career, from RSO. Summer and the Bee Gees also had legal disputes with their labels which further complicated matters. Summer ended her contract with PolyGram in 1980, and was awarded the rights to her songwriting catalog by the courts; she owed them one more album, and finished out her contract by recording her album She Works Hard For The Money (from which the title track was a huge hit in 1983).

In 1980, after PolyGram bought the other 50% of Casablanca Records and Filmworks, PolyGram renamed its existing Casablanca Records & Filmworks unit as PolyGram Pictures with Peter Guber becoming chairman of the company. [6] During the late 1980s and early 1990s, PolyGram continued to invest in a diversified film unit with the purchases of individual production companies.

In 1981, Philips executive Jan Timmer became a member of the Group Management of PolyGram and was appointed president and chief executive officer of newly formed parent company, PolyGram International Ltd. in 1983. He cut the workforce from 13,000 to 7,000, reduced PolyGram's LP and cassette plants from eighteen to five, and decreased the company's dependence on superstars by spreading the repertoire across different genres and nurturing national and regional talent. Also by 1983, PolyGram's U.S. roster of labels included:

...which were all consolidated into PolyGram Records, Inc. (now UMG Recordings, Inc.) In 1981, PolyGram launched domestic television syndication unit PolyGram Television (unrelated to the latter day incarnation that became Universal Worldwide Television in 1997), but it was soon folded after two years. [7]

Under its newly reorganized form, PolyGram decided to discontinue Philips as a pop and rock label in the UK and much of Europe, though it was still frequently issued records in France and South East Asia, where it issued many albums and singles by Chinese and Hong Kong pop artists. The majority of PolyGram's rock and pop music signings went to Mercury and Polydor. Philips became part of PolyGram Classics as a classical music label along with Decca Records and Deutsche Grammophon. By 1985, PolyGram had returned to profitability.

Wing Records was reincarnated in 1987 and became a very popular label over the following years, spawning the careers of Tony! Toni! Toné! and former Miss America, Vanessa Williams; the label was discontinued in the mid-1990s. Fontana was revived in the U.S. in 1989, but only for a short while. Today, Fontana Distribution is an independent label distribution unit of Universal Music Group. Vertigo Records still remained a rare U.S. PolyGram label, as most of its music was from Europe.

In April 1982, PolyGram assumed operational and managerial control of 20th Century Fox Records from its similarly named parent, which had just recently been bought out by oil magnate Marvin Davis, who was not interested in keeping the record company. [8] The assets of the former 20th Century Fox Records were fully acquired by the firm in July 1982, [9] and subsequently were consolidated with the Casablanca label.

After an attempted 1983 merger with Warner Elektra Atlantic failed, Philips bought 40% of PolyGram from Siemens, acquiring the remaining 10% in 1987.

In 1985, former CBS and Columbia executive Dick Asher was named president and CEO of PolyGram. [10] Asher was formerly the attorney for Don Kirshner's Aldon Music music publishing company.

The CD, invented by Philips and Sony, helped greatly in boosting the company's sales and market share. PolyGram's strength in classical music helped greatly, as many of the CD's early adopters were classical music lovers. Total US sales of CDs were $1 million in 1983, $334 million in 1990 and $943 million in 2000. Total UK sales were $300,000 in 1983, $51 million in 1990 and $202 million in 2000. The CD increased PolyGram's profit margin from 4-6% in the mid-1980s to 7-9% by the early 1990s. As well, videos were distributed by PolyGram Video.

In 1988, Philips acquired the remaining 50% of PolyGram from long-time partner Siemens and later in 1989, floated 16% of PolyGram on the Amsterdam stock exchange, valuing the whole company at $5.6 billion. PolyGram embarked on a new program of acquisitions, including A&M [11] and Island Records [12] in 1989, Swedish company Polar Music which held the rights to the ABBA catalogue, Motown and Def Jam in 1994 and Rodven (Venezuela) in 1995.

In 1990, after acquiring both Island and A&M, Alain Levy, (then) executive vice-president of PolyGram N.V., re-organized the U.S. operations of PolyGram Records, Inc. into a new expanded conglomerate: PolyGram Group Distribution, Inc. In addition to overseeing the sales, marketing, manufacturing and distribution of music and video products created by PolyGram, PGD was also responsible for supervising a number of other divisions within PolyGram (U.S.) such as: PolyGram Music Group, PolyGram Video, PolyMedia, PolyGram Special Markets, PolyGram Merchandising, Independent Label Sales (ILS) and New Media & Business Development.

PolyGram and Granada TV formed a joint venture, Big Picture Productions, in 1990 as a music programing firm which, at Cannes in 1990, purchased exclusive international distribution rights to Brown Sugar (The two-hour special featured black female performers and was hosted by Billy Dee Williams) from the New York–based Gene David Group. [13]

In June 1991, Alain Levy was promoted to worldwide president and CEO of PolyGram N.V.

In 1993, PolyGram purchased the video arm of Virgin Group from General Electric Capital for $5.6 million and remodeled the label as Vision Video ltd.

In 1995, PolyGram purchased ITC Entertainment for $156 million. [14] [15]

Sale to Seagram and divestation (1998-1999)

On May 22, 1998, Philips announced that they would sell PolyGram to Seagram for $10 billion. [16] Alain Levy resigned as CEO of PolyGram on June 23 to prepare for the merger, [17] and the deal was closed on December 10, 1998, with PolyGram's operations folding into Universal Pictures and Universal Music Group. [18]

However, Seagram was only interested in PolyGram's music division, and in October 1998 they announced that they would begin divesting PolyGram's entertainment assets, while the remainder would be folded into Universal. [19] Prior to this announcement, the company announced the sale of their 75% stake in children's distributor Abbey Home Entertainment back to its original founders. [20] On October 23, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer agreed to purchase PolyGram Filmed Entertainment's pre-April 1996 library for $250 Million, which included over 1,300 films from various assets PolyGram had acquired within that point. [21] on January 19, 1999, ITC Entertainment's assets were sold to Carlton Communications for £91 million. [22] On April 8, 1999, USA Networks announced they would purchase the domestic distribution arm of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and the US operations of PolyGram Video, among other assets. [23] After the sale, the divisions were renamed USA Films and USA Home Entertainment respectively. The assets of Slash Records and London Records were sold to Warner Music Group. What remained of PolyGram was merged into Universal Music Group and Universal Pictures. [24]

On February 10, 1999, Universal announced that they would exit out of their CIC Video and United International Pictures ventures with Paramount Pictures and rebrand the international divisions of PolyGram Filmed Entertainment and PolyGram Video under the Universal name. [25] While the home video division was successfully rebranded (with CIC rebranding under the Paramount umbrella in 2000 [26] [27] ), the rebranded theatrical division did not, as after films from the rebranded Universal Pictures International flopped at the box office, the company announced in October 1999 that they would downgrade their operations to the home video market only and renew their UIP deal with Paramount for five years, with the remains of PolyGram's theatrical assets merging and folding into United International Pictures. Mickey Blue Eyes was the last film distributed under the ex-PolyGram unit. [28]

The PolyGram name survives via reissue of music under the Polydor Records label as well as a publishing arm of Universal Music Publishing Group. The Japanese branches of the PolyGram labels that were absorbed to form Universal Music Japan and were rebranded: Polydor remained until 2002, when it merged with the Universal label to form Universal J, Kitty Records and Mercury remained until 2000, when they merged and became the short-lived Kitty MME, which later in 2002, moved some artists to Universal J, and in 2004, Kitty MME became Universal Sigma.

PolyGram Entertainment

PolyGram Entertainment
Industry Film
Genre documentaries
Predecessor PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
Founded2017;6 years ago (2017)
Headquarters Santa Monica, California
Key people
David Blackman (UMG head of film and TV)
Parent Universal Music Group
Subsidiaries Federal Films
Interscope Films
Website polygramentertainment.com

Universal Music Group (UMG) had been dabbling in the documentary field, having a hand in producing the 2015 Amy Winehouse documentary, Amy , as well as HBO's Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck. In January 2017, UMG hired David Blackman to head its newly formed film and TV unit, reporting to Universal Music Publishing Group chairman/CEO Jody Gerson and UMG Executive Vice President Michele Anthony. [29]

PolyGram Entertainment was relaunched on February 11, 2017, as a film and television unit of Universal Music Group. Before the announcement, the revived PolyGram co-distributed with StudioCanal on September 15, 2016, the documentary The Beatles: Eight Days a Week . Polygram had on its slate as its first production The Story of Motown (a documentary about the record label's cultural and historical effects). Also on its slate was the co-production and financing of Mystify (a biography of INXS frontman Michael Hutchence). [30]

Republic Records, in working with PolyGram, appointed its first executive vice-president of film & television on July 17, 2017, to oversee film and TV projects and its Federal Films initiative. [31] On June 5, 2018, the company announced the appointment of Daniel Inkeles to the post of Vice President, Scripted Film & Television, who moved over from a sister Vivendi company, StudioCanal, to UMG. [32]

Lionsgate and PolyGram agreed to a multiyear first-look television deal on August 6, 2018, to develop projects for TV from UMG's portfolio of labels, artists and music, with UMG issuing the corresponding soundtracks. [33] Universal Music Group agreed on April 17, 2019, to allow Wondery a license to use the UMG music catalog and develop story podcasts of UMG artists, which would possibly be adapted for TV or film projects. Wondery would work with all UMG labels and with its PolyGram Entertainment film and TV production unit. [34]


Release DateTitleCo-production companiesNotes
September 15, 2016 The Beatles: Eight Days a Week Apple Corps, Imagine Entertainment, White Horse Pictures, UMGdocumentary
UK distribution only with StudioCanal [30]
June 7, 2019 Pavarotti Polygram, Decca Records, Imagine Entertainment, White Horse Picturesdocumentary
Co-financiers: Polygram, CBS Films
International sales rights: HanWay Films [35] [36]
April 3, 2020 Beastie Boys Story Apple TV+, Pulse Films, Fresh Bread [37] documentary
June 30, 2020 The Go-Go's Fine Point Filmsdocumentary distributed by Showtime
December 12, 2020 The Bee Gees: How Can You Mend a Broken Heart HBO Documentary Films (executive)documentary
distributed by HBO
December 21, 2020 Ariana Grande: Excuse Me, I Love You Den of Thieves, SB Films, Story Syndicate, Si-Fi Films, Federal Films (executive)documentary / concert
distributed by Netflix
October 15, 2021 The Velvet Underground Killer Films, Motto Pictures and Verve Label Group documentary distributed by Apple TV+

TV series

YearSeriesProduction partnerOriginal
2018 Ariana Grande: Dangerous Woman Diaries Good Story Entertainment, Federal Films YouTube Premium Documentary / Concert
2021 The Beatles: Get Back [38] Walt Disney Pictures, Apple Corps, Wingnut Films Disney+ Documentary

Notable labels

See also


Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Island Records</span> British-Jamaican record label

Island Records is a multinational record label owned by Universal Music Group. It was founded in 1959 by Chris Blackwell, Graeme Goodall, and Leslie Kong in Jamaica, and was eventually sold to PolyGram in 1989. Island and A&M Records, another label recently acquired by PolyGram, were both at the time the largest independent record labels in history, with Island having exerted a major influence on the progressive music scene in the United Kingdom in the early 1970s. Island Records operates four international divisions: Island US, Island UK, Island Australia, and Island France. Current key people include Island US president Darcus Beese, OBE and MD Jon Turner. Partially due to its significant legacy, Island remains one of UMG's pre-eminent record labels.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Decca Records</span> British record label

Decca Records is a British record label established in 1929 by Edward Lewis. Its U.S. label was established in late 1934 by Lewis; Jack Kapp, American Decca's first president; and Milton Rackmil, who later became American Decca's president. In 1937, anticipating Nazi aggression leading to World War II, Lewis sold American Decca and the link between the U.K. and U.S. Decca labels was broken for several decades. The British label was renowned for its development of recording methods, while the American company developed the concept of cast albums in the musical genre.

MCA Inc. (originally an initialism for Music Corporation of America) was an American media conglomerate founded in 1924. Originally a talent agency with artists in the music business as clients, the company became a major force in the film industry, and later expanded into television production. MCA published music, booked acts, ran a record company, represented film, television, and radio stars, and eventually produced and sold television programs to the three major television networks, especially NBC.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">MCA Records</span> American record label owned by MCA Inc.

MCA Records was an American record label owned by MCA Inc., which later became part of Universal Music Group.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polydor Records</span> German-British record label

Polydor Records is a German-British record label that operates as part of Universal Music Group. It has a close relationship with Universal's Interscope Geffen A&M Records label, which distributes Polydor's releases in the United States. In turn, Polydor distributes Interscope releases in the United Kingdom. Polydor Records Ltd. was established in London in 1954 as a British subsidiary of German company Deutsche Grammophon/Schallplatte Grammophon GmbH. It was renamed Polydor Ltd. in 1972. The company is usually mentioned as "Polydor Ltd. (UK)", or a similar form, for holding copyrights

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Deutsche Grammophon</span> German classical music record label

Deutsche Grammophon is a German classical music record label that was the precursor of the corporation PolyGram. Headquartered in Berlin Friedrichshain, it is now part of Universal Music Group (UMG) since its merger with the UMG family of labels in 1999. It is the oldest surviving established record company.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Universal Music Group</span> Dutch–American music corporation

Universal Music Group N.V. is a Dutch–American multinational music corporation under Dutch law. UMG's corporate headquarters are located in Hilversum, Netherlands and its operational headquarters are located in Santa Monica, California. The biggest music company in the world, it is one of the "Big Three" record labels, along with Sony Music and Warner Music Group. Tencent acquired ten percent of Universal Music Group in March 2020 for €3 billion and acquired an additional ten percent stake in January 2021. Pershing Square Holdings later acquired ten percent of UMG prior to its IPO on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange. The company went public on September 21, 2021, at a valuation of €46 billion.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Mercury Records</span> American record label

Mercury Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group. It had significant success as an independent operation in the 1940s and 1950s. Smash Records and Fontana Records were sub labels of Mercury. Mercury Records released rock, funk, R&B, doo wop, soul music, blues, pop, rock and roll, and jazz records. In the United States, it is operated through Republic Records; in the United Kingdom and Japan, it is distributed by EMI Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">London Recordings</span> Record label headquartered in the UK

London Recordings is a British record label that marketed records in the United States, Canada, and Latin America for Decca Records from 1947 to 1980 before becoming semi-independent. The London name — as London American Recordings, often shortened to London American — was also used by British Decca in the UK market, for releases taken from American labels, which British Decca licensed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Verve Records</span> American record label

Verve Records is an American record label owned by Universal Music Group (UMG). Founded in 1956 by Norman Granz, the label is home to the world's largest jazz catalogue, which includes recordings by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Nina Simone, Stan Getz, Bill Evans, Billie Holiday, and Oscar Peterson, among others. It absorbed the catalogues of Granz's earlier label, Clef Records, founded in 1946; Norgran Records, founded in 1953; and material which was previously licensed to Mercury Records.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">PolyGram Filmed Entertainment</span> British-American film studio, film production company

PolyGram Filmed Entertainment was a British and American film studio founded in 1975 as an American film studio, which became a European competitor to Hollywood within decades, but was eventually sold to Seagram Company Ltd. in 1998 and was folded in 2000. Among its most successful and well known films were The Deep (1977), Midnight Express (1978), An American Werewolf in London (1981), Flashdance (1983), Four Weddings and a Funeral (1994), Dead Man Walking (1995), The Big Lebowski (1998), Fargo (1996), The Usual Suspects (1995), The Game (1997) and Notting Hill (1999).

Philips Records is a record label founded by the Dutch electronics company Philips and the Dutch-American largest record label company Universal Music Group. It was founded as Philips Phonographische Industrie in 1950. In 1946, Philips acquired the company which pressed records for British Decca's Dutch outlet in Amsterdam.

Phonogram Incorporated was started in 1970 as a successor to Philips Phonographic Industries, a unit of the Grammophon-Philips Group (GPG), a joint venture of Philips N.V. of the Netherlands and Siemens A.G. of Germany.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Universal Music Group Nashville</span> US record company; Universal Music Groups country music subsidiary

Universal Music Group Nashville is Universal Music Group's country music subsidiary was officially opening on New Year's Day 1945 as MCA Nashville and Mercury Nashville which on New Year's Day 1950 as Capitol Nashville. Some of the labels in this group include MCA Nashville Records, Mercury Nashville Records, Lost Highway Records, Capitol Records Nashville and EMI Records Nashville. UMG Nashville not only handles these imprints, but also manages the country music catalogues of record labels Universal Music and predecessor companies acquired over the years including ABC Records, Decca Records, Dot Records, DreamWorks Records, Kapp Records, MGM Records and Polydor Records.

Interscope Geffen A&M Records (IGA), is an American umbrella label owned by Universal Music Group, consisting of record labels Interscope Records, Geffen Records, and A&M Records.

A&M Records was an American record label founded as an independent company by Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss in 1962. Due to the success of the discography A&M released, the label garnered interest and was acquired by PolyGram in 1989 and began distributing releases from Polydor Ltd. from the UK.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Polyphon</span> Disc-playing music box

Polyphon is a disc-playing music box, a mechanical device first manufactured by the Polyphon Musikwerke, located in Leipzig, Germany. Invented in 1870, full-scale production started around 1897 and continued into the early 1900s. Polyphons were exported all over the world and music was supplied for the English, French and German markets, as well as further afield, with pieces cataloged for the Russian, Polish and Balkan regions. Polyphon is also a record label as registered by German Polyphon Musikwerke AG in 1908. Polyphon traded under the Polydor label since 1913 with their trademarks Polyphon Musik and Polyphon Record.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">UMG Philippines</span> Philippine record label branch of Universal Music Group

UMG Philippines Inc. is a record label based in the Philippines and served as its regional branch of the multinational music corporation, Universal Music Group. Formerly known as MCA Music, the record label previously retained the now-discontinued MCA name on legal purposes because of a trademark dispute with an unrelated label known as Universal Records, which preempted the rights to the word "Universal" for recorded music in the Philippines. However, the company adopted the moniker "MCA/Universal", much like Universal Pictures' home video unit from 1990 to 1997, to simplify identification, even though no formal "Universal" branding is exercised. Despite the naming, the label is known outside the Philippines as Universal Music Philippines.


  1. 1 2 Hardy, Phil (20 November 2012). Would You Like to Dance? EMI and WMG. Download! How The Internet Transformed The Record Business. pp. Chapter 4. ISBN   9780857128034 . Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  2. Geisst, Charles R. (14 May 2014). "Radio Industry". Encyclopedia of American Business History. p. 352. ISBN   9781438109879 . Retrieved 15 April 2016.
  3. Bakker, p.17. "Philips’ commitment to the LP technology was an important factor for Columbia's willingness to enter the long-term alliance with PPI in 1950. "
  4. Bakker, p.26. "During the disco-boom, Polygram's US market share had jumped from five to twenty percent. For a few years, it was the world's largest record company."
  5. Billboard - 25 Dec 1999 - 1 janv. 2000 - Page 90 "In the year ending in June, both companies are said to have had combined sales of $460 million and an operating profit of $50 million. Sales of $480 million are forecast for the year to June 2000. Britannia, launched in 1969 by Poly Gram, has ..."
  6. "PolyGram Insures Home Video Base" (PDF). Billboard . 1980-03-29. p. 9.
  7. "PolyGram to fold" (PDF). Broadcasting . 1983-05-09. Retrieved 2021-09-20.
  8. "PolyGram, 20th Tie Seen As Foundation For Buyout" (PDF). Billboard. 1982-04-10. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  9. "PolyGram Firms 20th Ownership" (PDF). Billboard. 1982-07-24. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  10. "BUSINESS PEOPLE; Polygram Records Names President". The New York Times. 1985-10-18. Retrieved 2021-01-27.
  11. "PolyGram buys A&M Records for $500 million". Los Angeles Times. 1989-09-15. Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  12. Knoedelseder, Jr., William K. (1989-07-28). "Polygram Will Buy Island Records for About $300 Million". Los Angeles Times . Retrieved 2023-04-18.
  13. "Worldwide deal doings at Cannes" (PDF). Broadcasting: 39. April 30, 1990. ISSN   0007-2028 . Retrieved September 15, 2017.
  14. PolyGram filmed entertainment acquires ITC Entertainment Group. [ dead link ]Business Wire January 10, 1995. Retrieved on November 21, 2010.
  15. PolyGram buys Itc for $156m. The Times, Wednesday, January 11, 1995; pg. 25
  16. "Seagram buys PolyGram from Philips for $10.6bn". The Independent. 22 May 1998.
  17. "Chief Executive at Polygram Resigns". The New York Times. 23 June 1998. Retrieved 5 November 2019.
  18. "Seagram absorbs Polygram, creates world's largest music company". 11 December 1998.
  19. Eller, Claudia (October 9, 1998). "Seagram May Settle for Sale of Film Library". Los Angeles Times.
  20. "Billboard". 18 July 1998.
  21. "MGM Agrees to Acquire PolyGram Movie Library". 23 October 1998 via LA Times.
  22. "Thunderbirds are going, going, gone". BBC News. 1999-01-19. Retrieved 2013-06-22.
  23. "USA Will Buy Some Seagram Film Assets". 8 April 1999 via LA Times.
  24. Universal Music shake-up. The Times, Friday, January 15, 1999
  25. Carver, Benedict; Dawtrey, Adam (1999-02-10). "U to start int'l distrib". Variety. Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  26. "Paramount to retain CIC Video operations". Screen Digest. 1 March 1999. Archived from the original on 7 April 2018. Retrieved 6 April 2018 via HighBeam Research.
  27. Groves, Don (24 January 2000). "CIC Video builds new identity after split" . Variety . Vol. 377, no. 10. p. 24. Retrieved 6 April 2018 via General OneFile.
  28. Petrikin, Chris (1999-10-15). "U, Par extend UIP pact". Variety. Retrieved 2022-01-09.
  29. Littleton, Cynthia (February 12, 2017). "Universal Music Group Revives Polygram Label for Film and TV Production". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  30. 1 2 "Universal Music Relaunching Polygram, Announces 'Story of Motown' as First Production". billboard.com. Retrieved 17 February 2017.
  31. Halperin, Shirley (July 17, 2017). "'Fifty Shades' Franchise Veteran Dana Sano to Head Film and Television at Republic Records". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  32. "Universal Music's Polygram Entertainment Names Daniel Inkeles VP of Scripted Film & TV". Variety. June 5, 2018. Retrieved October 5, 2018.
  33. "Universal Music Group and Lionsgate Sign Multi-Year TV Deal". Variety. August 6, 2018. Retrieved October 4, 2018.
  34. Lee, Wendy (April 17, 2019). "Universal Music Group partners with Wondery, which produced 'Dirty John' podcast". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 22, 2019.
  35. McNary, Dave (June 1, 2017). "Ron Howard to Direct Luciano Pavarotti Documentary". Variety. Retrieved August 22, 2017.
  36. Wiseman, Andreas (October 12, 2018). "HanWay Films Boards Ron Howard's Pavarotti Movie Ahead Of AFM, Production Under Way". Deadline. Retrieved October 12, 2018.
  37. Vlessing, Etan (January 15, 2020). "Spike Jonze's 'Beastie Boys Story' Lands at Apple TV+". The Hollywood Reporter . Retrieved March 5, 2020.
  38. White, Peter (March 11, 2020). "Disney Sets Release Date For Peter Jackson's Beatles Documentary". Deadline. Retrieved March 14, 2020.